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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fatigue and Flying

Do Not Mix!

This month there was another horrible crash, that killed 62 people.  Preliminary reports attribute fatigue.  The captain was said to have resigned, due to the schedule and excessive fatigue, but was finishing his contractual obligations.  

Russian investigators and policemen inspect the crash site of a Boeing 737-800 FlyDubai plane at Rostov-on-Don airport

I have written numerous posts on fatigue, because fatigue kills.  The fatigue issue is also a central theme in all my novels.  And the newest novel, Flight For Survival is no different.  

One might think that FAR 117 would have solved the problem in the U.S.  But when Darby is forced on an international trip after her company flies her across the country on her own time, you will see how easy it is to work around any rule and FAR, if an airline lacks a safety culture.   

When accidents continue to occur we know the battle on fatigue has not been won.

My promise to everyone is that no matter what happens,  I will not stop this pursuit and my fight for safety, and will continue to do my best for continued improvement. 

Join me in my achieving My One Wish for Aviation.

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Monday, March 28, 2016

Take Time For Life

Enjoy Every Moment

While working on my PhD, I have found myself sitting at my desk, studying, reading, and thinking for up to twelve hours, and wondering where time went. That is the power of passion and focus. While finals opened last Wednesday and will close in three days, I opted to go on spring break with with my middle daughter and two of the grandchildren.

Off to San Diego we flew, rented a house by the beach, and visited Legoland for two days, and played on the beach for the third. I took my flight bag filled with all my textbooks, yet I never opened them.  Late nights found me finishing up final papers... the finals they waited.  

The Easter bunny found us yesterday morning and then we found our way to the airport and flew home.  Kids are safely back in Oregon and I will be in lock down for three days writing finals. Okay, the gym counts for lock down, as some of my best thinking happens while exercising (and showering). The best thing about being a writer who takes her course work seriously throughout the quarter is that I understand the subject matter, and I know how to put words to paper. Thus, I will be able to finish finals in the time limit.

Now... time to get busy! Make sure you come back tomorrow for a serious subject with aviation.  The photo is graphic, but something we must address. You will learn why I am writing... Together we will make a difference!

 I hope you had a
 Happy Easter!!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Rhoda Roberts

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

 Rhoda Roberts

Airline personnel have the greatest opportunity to meet the nicest people.  And a month ago I had the good fortune to meet Rhoda.  She has bee flying for 24 years, and tells me she started in her early 20’s.  How does she feel about work?

"I Love the job. There is never a dull moment. Gosh, where can you get a job where you can go shopping, have dinner with friends, and meet all kinds of people and get paid for it?"

 Rhoda said fashion has always been her thing, besides flying that is, as she's had an exceptional eye for fashion.  So much so, that her friends tell her she's in the wrong industry.  So what did she do but create a clothing line!

I’m really into fitness, 
so I decided to create a active wear and bikinis. 

"My inspiration was all the classic movies that I used to watch when I was a little girl.  Well, even till this day, I still love to watch the old classic movies. The women always looked very fashionable with their wardrobe."

"I should be in Hollywood, 
dressing up all the famous actresses!"

Check out Rhoda's active wear, 
I am going to try out one of her bikinis! 

Click on the link below, 
and have fun seeing what inspiration 
and a dream can bring to life.

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Automation Challenges

DC-9 copilot attempting to check out in 
a 'glass cockpit' Boeing 737...

 “Now I know what a dog feels like watching TV.”  


 From the thoughts of Captain Jim Wright:

"The challenge we are facing in the maritime industry is that older pilots who learned their profession in the “looking out the window” era often find it difficult to use ECDIS to best advantage.  At the same time, younger pilots who grew up in the hi-tech era find it difficult to use the skills connected with “traditional ship handling”.   

At PMI (Pacific Maritime Institute) we’re becoming of the opinion that using older retired pilots to facilitate traditional shiphandling exercises (Level 1 & 2) together with younger pilots facilitating hi-tech pilotage exercises (Level 2 & 3) may produce the best results. 

Does the airline industry use a combination of pilot instructors with considerable hand-flying experience together with pilot instructors having considerable automation skills to realize the most effective training regimen?  
Alternatively, are there sufficient pilot instructors with both considerable hand-flying and automation skills to produce effective training results? If we can get this program going at PMI we might be able to do some “result comparison”....

A Great Question... 
Do Airlines Have Instructors with 
Exceptional Hand Flying Skills
That can integrate those skills with automation?

What about your airline?

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Monday, March 21, 2016

Breaking Through Fear

Monday Motivation

"The greatest ideas, tools, and inspirations are the ones that spark something 
that was previously unconscious in you; 
they give you awareness"
Monaye Merritt

A team is everything in life. Your support, your strength, your motivation. I am honored to be following a team that continues to inspire and motivate young ladies... Hoop through life!  We met Alexis Murphy the founder of Hoop Through Life a month ago. Today we meet one of her team members... Monaye, Merritt.  She was going to be a Friday Flyer, until I read her quote. Of course she would be a Monday Motivation.

 Monaye Merritt

Alexis Murphy
Hoop Through Life, LLC
Founder/CEO - See more at:
Alexis Murphy
Hoop Through Life, LLC
Founder/CEO - See more at:

"I come from Philly, born and raised. I started playing sports from a very young age, as far back as I can remember. I gained confidence through sports, because I knew I could do whatever the boys did; And sometimes do it better! Just saying, I was never picked last. I never felt a discrepancy between me and the guys. This part of my confidence came from the results, but I also gained confidence from the work I put in. I could have been playing Allen Iverson, I still believed I was working harder than him. 

As I got older I lost that confidence. 

I began to let the doubt of someone working harder than me creep into my mind. Once I got on the floor and actually played with them I would see that there was no need to be worried. 

The amount of time I put in was real, valid, and most of all deserves respect from myself. My basketball career has been through troughs and triumphs, but 

the one thing I have learned is 
that you have to do away with fear. 

Acknowledge it and go through the same way you would any other opponent. And this isn't just a basketball thing, it is a life thing. I wish, so much earlier, that I had gotten back to the fearless me! No one wants to be in the way, they realize you are going to do whatever it takes. This applies outside of basketball, it applies to life itself. The other key thing that piggy backs on top of fearlessness is focus, 

"Fear is one of the few things 
that can stop us dead in our tracks 
or make us move faster 
than we ever imagined". 

What makes us move through fear 
is our focus. 

I like to imagined these two factors to be effecting each other people may not. The best quote I read about focus was:

"All great achievements are the result 
of sustained focus over time"

Not much could ring truer to my ears, 
so let's break the fear and focus."

Amazing that Monaye talks about breaking free of the fear, as that subject is the first chapter in Flight To Success be the Captain of your Life!  And a ton of focus woven through the pages, too.

Once you break through your fear, 
what are you going to do with your life? 

Monaye and Alexis are making a difference with theirs. 

Check out 
Hoop Through Life

Young ladies making a difference in the world...

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Friday, March 18, 2016

Karen Perry Living Strong

Friday's Fabulous Flyer 

 Karen Perry 

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Karen Perry at the Women in Aviation Conference. Karen has been a Flight Attendant for Delta Air Lines for 30 years, and while we have yet to fly together I am certainly looking forward to it. It was such an honor to meet her.

Karen is not only a flight attendant, but she also holds her commercial pilot license and flight instructor certificate. Her previous career included flying an air ambulance, and flying as a corporate, and commercial airline pilot. But it's not what Karen does with her life that makes her special, it's the fact she continues to live, despite the challenges that have been thrown her way, not to mention the nightmare that became her life. 


One might thing Karen's story of strength began when she was a divorced, single mother of three young children, two of which were special needs. One with Autism another Epilepsy. I'm sure Karen believed her battle with cancer twice in a decade would be her toughest hours. But she would have been wrong.

Karen's real strength began on November 23, 2011, Thanksgiving evening, when all three of her children... her daughter Morgan (9), and her sons Logan(8) and Luke(6) were flying with their father, Shawn, when they crashed into the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.... literally in her back yard.

Karen lost her entire family in that accident.

Karen’s memoir, Angels Three: The Karen Perry Story shares the journey called her life as an aviator, a mother and a survivor.  How could someone find the strength to survive such a tragedy?
Her book was released in October 2015 and I am honored to have an autographed copy. I am looking forward to going inside Karen’s world of aviation, share her battle with cancer, her challenges with parenting special needs children, and then her living through my worst nightmare, and learning how she came out the other end with a smile. We know the pain will never end, but she has proven there is a way to survive.

Her grief took her on another journey to find out what happened, and why. I’m told her search for the truth lead to a startling revelation, a legal battle with the Federal Aviation Administration, and a troubling question: Was the crash avoidable

I am looking forward to reading her story, but I know the tissues will be standing by.  What an amazing person Karen is, and I am honored to know her.  Her life puts our little obstacles we experience into perspective. 

Today Karen has turned that horrific tragedy into hope as she is the president and co-founder of non-profit organization 3Wings Of Life.  They offer various programs to educate and uplift children. Take a moment to check out the site at....3Wings 

And be sure to read...
Click on the link above, Buy the book,
And remember to leave a comment on Amazon...

 Karen, Thank you 
for being such an inspiration! 
Enjoy the Journey!
Sometimes Life is too Short.
XO Karlene

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Iron Maiden

Is Grounded!

Sadly, while the band was setting up for a concert in Santiago Chili, they received horrible news that their beautiful lady was badly damaged. 

"Ed Force One" was under tow to be fueled when a locking pin broke and the B747 rolled, hit the tug, and hospitalized both occupants.

Great news is... she is a Boeing and she will keep on going!  So Ed Force One will fly again soon! As soon as she gets a little work on her engines.... or new ones.  How easy the smallest things can create the biggest problems. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Monday, March 14, 2016

Fly on the Wings of Attitude

Monday Motivation:

Life is like a mirror... 
What you give to the world 
is the reflection of what comes back and 
becomes the essence of your life.  

The Women in Aviation Conference last week was fun, exhausting, and incredible all wrapped into one. I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who were striving for their dream jobs, while others were there to support, encourage and educate others reaching for the sky. Mostly I met people who were optimistic and hopeful.

Yet some were discouraged.  If you ever have a chance to attend one of these events, you will see the thousands of people vying for the same jobs. You, too, might feel discouraged. You don't have enough hours, you have too many hours, you are civilian, you took too long to get your degree, and when you were  22 you got a 2.5 GPA while you were working two jobs and attending college, and then 20 years later those grades haunt you.

If HR departments only looked closer at the why of those lower GPAs, and at those who took longer to earn a degree, they might be surprised and find the qualities that exemplify an outstanding pilot.  By investigating the reasons behind the grades and varied education path, companies would learn that these people rank high on perseverance, dedication, and commitment.

These are the people 
I would be proud to call Captain!

And then those regional pilots who have been flying for 9000 hours, dedicating their services to legacy carriers who are shunned because of their high hours. Those are the pilots that would bring tons of relevant experience to an airline.  So we can see how they are can be frustrated. 

The message today is... 

No matter where you are in the process... Do not give up! Carry yourself with optimism, know that your time will come! This is a not an if, but a when. But remember, while you wait for your time... The world will give back to you, what you put into it.

Live life with a positive attitude!

Create the attitude as if all your dreams were coming true and all your dreams will be yours! Besides... there are people out there working on your behalf. One voice at a time, we can make a difference!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene  

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Is You!

I'm at the Women in Aviation Conference, Volunteering, and trying to keep up with schoolwork means late nights and early mornings, but the days are filled meeting incredible people!

Wait until you meet the Friday Flyers I have met during this conference!  There are simply amazing people out there, and we'll be reading about them soon. Until then...

Remember to enjoy the journey! 
XO Karlene

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Adventure Continues...

Non-Stop Nashville! 

Where can you have more fun than this...
Inspire and become inspired
And find thousands of women who love Aviation?

I am on my way to the 

So while I am off to see this incredible group of ladies... Take a moment to read something so awesome, words cannot describe it.  Jeremy wrote the most incredible review for Flight For Survival  on his blog: 

Thank you Jeremy!

And I hope to see you in Nashville! 
 You can get your autographed books there too! 

Find me Thursday through Saturday at
the store from 1300- 1530
and the silent auction from 1600-1800

XO Karlene

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


From the Early Years Forward...

The early years of aviation saw many safety challenges resulting in regulatory change due to economics, more so than safety; yet, eventually the FAA became a dual gatekeeper of safety and economic protection (Adamski & Doyle, 2010; Gesell & Dempsey, 2011). The aviation industry expanded quickly and aircraft crashes were due, in part, to under-developed technology, the inability to avoid weather, and a paucity of ground support systems (Perrow, 1999). 
Early aircraft were unsteady, demanded continuous pilot input, and required unyielding attention due to unreliable external cues for navigation (Mosier, 2010). Aircraft technology evolved, and human factors specialists worked with engineering and flight crews to reduce cockpit workload. In the early 1970s CRM became the first regulatory mandate to deal with crew interpersonal and communication issues (Helmreich, Merritt, & Wilhelm, 1999). 

Crew Resource Management (CRM) 

Crew resource management (originally termed cockpit resource management) was a movement to teach crewmembers interpersonal and communication skills in effort to reduce pilot error. CRM was not a one-time fix, but a process that evolved over five developmental generations during the 1990s—theory; teamwork emphasis; team expansion; AQP; and TEM (Helmreich, et. al., 1999). 
One of the greatest challenges with CRM was to convince pilots that they needed to improve their communication skills (Helmreich, et. al., 1999). However, once leadership understood that errors were unavoidable, but could be mitigated, corporate support was gained (Broyhill & Freiwald, 2012). CRM was mandated, and programs were developed and subsequently forced upon flight crews. Despite resistance from some, CRM took hold and became the way flight crews operated—CRM became embedded in airline culture (Broyhill & Freiwald, 2012; Helmreich, et. al., 1999; Valazquez & Bier, 2015). When CRM moved into simulator training in the form of AQP, operational training combined with interpersonal communication practice ensued. 


Advanced Qualification Program (AQP)

AQP provided airlines an economic benefit by granting training departments the ability to reduce training footprints with a train-to-proficiency concept (FAA, 2006), notably reducing training expense. At the same time, airlines were required to track crew performance to ascertain training effectiveness, yet managers were perplexed how to accomplish this task (Nemeth, 2015). AQP also required the inclusion of CRM training, line oriented flight training (LOFT), and line operational evaluation (LOE) scenarios (FAA, 2006). 
These training/checking scenarios changed traditional processes where a pilot was trained and checked on individual performance, to training and checking crew-based performance (Helmreich, et. al., 1999). Line-oriented training processes not only enabled crews to learn how to manage the aircraft, but also worked toward improving team and communication skills. With the availability of highly reliable automated aircraft, designed to reduce workload and improve situation awareness (SA), training departments could achieve results quicker than ever before. CRM opened the door to exceptional communication, where crewmember briefings began with, “Today the threats are…” 

Threat and Error Management (TEM) 


TEM, the essence of fifth generation CRM, was developed to assist pilots with identifying operational threats in order to mitigate risk (Helmreich, Klinect, & Wilhelm, 2001; Mathew &Thomas, 2004). TEM began the bold shift from the reactive safety strategy of CRM, to a proactive strategy where the pilots assessed their environment (inside and out of the flight deck), and openly discussed potential threats (Helmreich, et. al., 1999). Accepting that errors would occur, and identifying areas of potential threat, created awareness and assisted pilots in not only anticipating those threats, but prepared them mentally for the unexpected event (Helmreich, et. al., 1999; Merkt, 2010). Trained observers subsequently joined pilots in the line environment to observe behavior. 
References available upon request!

Enjoy the Journey!!
XO Karlene

Monday, March 7, 2016

Cat 1 Approach

There She Flies!


Enjoy the Journey! 
XO Karlene

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Piper, the Border Collie!


I returned from my trip yesterday, and was a wake for way too many hours, followed by a conference call and tons homework to complete.  One of my statistic projects is Bird Strike analysis and havoc that our winged friends take upon our aircraft.  

A teammate sent me this great article... and you have to love it!  So... Piper get's to be today's Friday Fabulous Flyer!  Take a visit to the Daily Detroit, article by Joel Gullickson, Feb 22, 2016, to see more photos and read the entire article about Piper.  


For me... I am back to work, as I have a busy weekend to finish up everything so I can attend the Women in Aviation Conference next week!!  I hope to see you there. I will be volunteering at the store daily from 1-3:30, and then again at the silent auction booth from 4-6 p.m.  Add this to your schedule to drop and say hello!! 

Have a Great Weekend!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Airbus, A330 Cost Index

How to Use a Cost Index to Your Advantage: 

I had the great opportunity to fly with an instructor a couple weeks ago who was conducting training.  When we pay attention lessons come from many places.

Cost Index Lesson:

"The PERF descent page is hard tuned for .81/300 (variable) as I reach top of climb, and am not expecting a change in course (this will cause a change in fuel burns/times) all step climbs per flight plan are entered and constant mach entries are not entered at this time for a more pure fuel burn. I set up the following template on the right side of the flight plan:

Example of MCDU page values:

Cost Index UTC time /EFOB
100  1738Z / 20.9
75    1740Z / 21.2
50    1743Z / 21.9
25    1745Z / 22.0
0      1748Z / 22.1

(Flight plan cost index can be used instead, that is closest to above 25 increment C/I)

Depending in your interpretation, and needs (target landing window) Cost Index (CI) of 50 appears to give a 1000# fuel savings for an added +5 min as compared to CI 100, and a 700# savings for only a +3 min increase. CI of 25 and 0 do not appear to be that advantageous for the small fuel savings regarding increased time.

After a CI is determined for the flight i.e.. 50 in this case, I go to Flt plan page and a Mach template is set up to see what computer is showing for crossing mach segment, and note the Mach/UTC/EFOB in this case .81M 1745Z / 22.2 appears to be best for this scenario:

Example of MCDU page values:

Mach UTC time/ EFOB
.82M 1743Z / 21.6
.81M 1745Z / 22.2
.80M 1748Z / 22.3
.79M 1750Z / 22.2

Again, depending on your interpretation and needs (target landing window) .81M appears to be most cost effective for this flight. Also note that there sometimes is a change in time/EFOB when a hard Mach is entered for the constant mach segment. Trying to do better than Flight plan values, as we know they will not be the same.

The above procedure is a little time consuming, but in most cases I have been able to average 1500 to 5000 lbs of extra fuel on arrival. I also try to climb to a higher altitude when it shows beneficial in the step climb computer."

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene